Photo of Portobello Inn

Ipswich Portobello Inn

also traded as as: Porto Bello

historical era: Victorian / Edwardian

closed September 28th, 1907

39 Upper Orwell St

grid reference TM 167 444

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CAMRA Ipswich & East Suffolk branch.

last updated 25/08/2016

The building has suffered some re-modelling since it was an inn; the upper floor used to have a substantial over-hang.

Shown here on an 1881 map of Ipswich.

map of Portobello

A report in the Ipswich Journal** in Aug 1825 states :

To be sold by auction, unless previously disposed of by private contract, the Porto Bello, Ipswich, (along with 6 other Suffolk public houses, Admiral's Head, Blue Coat Boy, Bell on the Corn Hill, Bricklayer's Arms in Globe lane, George the Third, in Ipswich and the Pye at Stonham). Any person desirous of purchasing all the above houses may be accommodated with a freehold brewery and plant, nearly all new, capable of brewing upwards of 7000 barrels of beer a year; together with an extensive beer and spirit trade, to which may be added the wine trade, with store rooms, vaults, liquor warehouses, hop lofts, two counting houses, stables for 12 horses, with hay and straw lofts, coach house, cooperage, cart sheds, yards, etc. An excellent built malt house, 48 coombs steep, with barley chambers capable of containing 700 quarters, malt shops and granaries that will contain 2000 quarters of malt; a convenient Mansion in front, and cottage adjoining, with another cottage at the back entrance. Possession may be had at Michaelmas or Christmas, or later if required.

(Most pub, location & historic details collated by Nigel, Tony or Keith - original sources are credited)

(detailed information from Old inns of Suffolk by Leonard P Thompson)

(some old PO directory information courtesy of londonpublichouse.com)

(** historic newspaper information from Stuart Ansell)


Probably named after capture of Porto Bello by Admiral Vernon in 1739. Later the Admiral was MP for Ipswich from 1741-60. The admiral lived in Orwell Park and was popular locally but will also be long remembered for watering down Navy Rum, for which he was also known as "old grog".